Who’s going to pay the rent?
ASTORIA, New York City- When I read the news it seems as if the entire city of New York is stricken with coronavirus pandemonium. But when I go outside in the streets it doesn’t seem any different than any other day. I go to the coffee house and it’s still full. Trader Joe’s is so packed it’s hard to get into on any weekend of the year. Sure, some of the shelves in the supermarkets are a little barer, but that’s about it…
Other than the the people in the streets mocking the elbow touch handshake.
But this is probably set to change. Everything is being shut down throughout the city and the moral mob is out doing what it does best: controlling people’s actions through public shaming. “Staying home saves lives,” is the message, and people will soon be guilt tripped into not going outside.
I wonder where these warriors are every flu season when upwards of 60,000 to 80,000 people are killed in the USA alone? They don’t seem to give a shit about at risk populations then.
So far, this particular iteration of coronavirus has swept through some of the most populated parts of the world, leaving around 4,500 dead. That’s really not too many. But the fear mongering continues, with even respected publications claiming that 1.7 million people could die in the USA … From what we’ve seen in East Asia, that’s very, very unlikely.
We now know who Covid-19 is dangerous for. But rather than providing targeted protective services for those groups directly we are spreading a web of fear and guilt throughout entire societies, watering down what we can do by including everyone in the risk zone.
We also know that 99.4 to 99.6% (or more) of people who contract Covid-19 will recover. For patients over 80 in South Korea who showed enough symptoms to be tested, the recovery rate is 92%.
The below graph is interesting because it shows the infection rate disparity between South Korea, who does wide scale testing, and Italy, who only tests people with symptoms bad enough for someone to go and see a doctor.
Nearly 60% of coronavirus cases in South Korea were found to be in people under the age of 50. In Italy, it was around 20%. If we can assume that the virus acts the same in both populations, which it seems to, there are a whole lot of people in Italy (at least 40% of all infections) who are positive but have not been tested and therefore not counted in the death rate. This means that Italy’s info cannot be regarded as accurate as it doesn’t include a representative number of infections that produced mild or no symptoms. The same can be said of the USA, who until recently was not even testing people outside of “at risk” demographics.
More than likely, the death rate is something less than the 0.6% that South Korea has found and the .04% that China has found outside of Hubei (i.e. when they instituted wide scale testing). This means that coronavirus is more deadly than the flu, however, it does not seem to be severely impacting the working age population or children. Theoretically, I would imagine that we could protect those who need it while allowing society to run business as usual — like they did in Singapore.
But we don’t do things this way.
Instead, we are instituting a scorched earth policy of shuttering everything and tanking the economy.
Right now, I’m looking at being grounded and put out of work for at least the next three months.
My wife got the call today. Her school just closed down. They are only going to pay her for the next five work days, then she has to take her paid time off, and then, when that’s gone, she won’t be paid.
Sure, we could all stay inside hiding from a virus that’s not going to have much of an impact on the bulk of society, but who’s going to pay the rent?
Elon Musk perhaps put it best:
The coronavirus panic is dumb
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 6, 2020